They didn’t believe me — Luke 4: 14-30, from Argentina

Jesus Luke 4

Gerardo Oberman’s reflection on Luke for Red Crearte. Katie Fiegenbaum, translating.

They didn’t believe me
(In light of Luke 4:14-30)

In the power of the Spirit,
after going through my own struggles
and after accepting that it was the time,
I went out to the streets and entered the houses
of those who had made space for me,
and I went to the towns
and I preached in their holy places,
announcing with joy
that the time for change had arrived,
real change,
change which transforms lives
and brings them info fulfillment
based on the grace of God.
A change for the dignity of every person,
towards justice that takes care of the smallest,
towards truth that is told from below,
towards equal opportunities,
towards a society that includes every human being
valued as son or daughter of God.
At first they smiled and applauded
and received the good news with enthusiasm…

But then…then they began to insult me,
they threatened me and even tried to kill me.
Why? What offended them?

“I bring good news for the poor,” I told them.
“No, we don’t want to hear you,” they replied.
“A more just economic system is necessary,
that promotes equality and doesn’t benefit barely a few,
in which human beings are prioritized above money,” I proposed to them.
However, they preferred to live under the tyrant’s yoke.
“I want the blind to see.”
“Here no one is blind and no one needs you,” they responded.
“Give me the opportunity to embrace those who suffer,
to give a little bit of hope to the sad,
to encourage the fallen and the weary…”
“And who do you think you are, bastard son of Joseph?”
“Is it that you truly do not understand?
I come to open the doors to the prisons that contain you,
to release you from the heavy bars of fear,
from the cells of mediocrity,
from the dungeons (or black holes) of ‘every man for himself’…”
“No one needs you, Jesus. Go take your ideology somewhere else.”
“Today the scripture is being fullfilled in front of you…,”
I tried to explain to them. “It is not ideology, it is the word of God!”

But no one wanted to listen.
The hearing of the most powerful,
the apathy of the religious who merely comply
and the complicit fear of many
succeeded…
And putting the good news under my arm,
I shook off my sandals,
and had to leave that town.

(G. Oberman)

No me creyeron
(A la luz de Lucas 4:14-30)

En el poder del Espíritu,
luego de pasar mis propias luchas
y de haber asumido que era la hora,
salí a los caminos y entré en las casas
de quienes me hacían espacio,
y fui a los pueblos
y prediqué en sus lugares sagrados,
anunciando con alegría
que había llegado la hora del cambio,
del cambio de verdad,
de aquel que transforma las vidas
y las plenifica
a partir de la gracia de Dios.
Un cambio hacia la dignidad de toda persona,
hacia la justicia que cuida a los más pequeños,
hacia la verdad que se cuenta desde abajo,
hacia la igualdad de oportunidades,
hacia una sociedad que incluya a cada ser humano
y lo valore como hijo o hija de Dios.
Al principio sonreían y aplaudían
y recibían con entusiasmo las buenas noticias…

Pero luego…, luego comenzaron a insultarme,
me amenazaron y hasta quisieron matarme.
¿Por qué? ¿Qué les molestaba?

“Traigo buenas noticias para los pobres”, les decía.
“No, no queremos oírte”, replicaban.
“Es necesario un sistema económico más justo,
que promueva la equidad y no beneficie apenas a unos pocos,
en el que prime el ser humano por sobre el dinero”, les proponía.
Sin embargo, preferían vivir bajo el yugo del tirano.
“Quiero que los ciegos puedan ver”.
“Acá no hay ciegos y nadie te necesita”, respondían.
“Denme la oportunidad de abrazar a quienes sufren,
de darle un poco de esperanza a los tristes,
de animar a los caídos y a los cansados…”
“¿Y quién te crees que eres, bastardo hijo de José?”
“¿Es que de verdad no entienden?
Vengo a abrir las puertas de las cárceles que los encierran,
a liberarlos de los barrotes del miedo,
de las celdas de la mediocridad,
de los calabozos del sálvese quien pueda…”
“Nadie te necesita, Jesús. Vete con tu ideología a otra parte.”
“Hoy se está cumpliendo la escritura ante ustedes…”, quise explicarles. “No es ideología, ¡es palabra de Dios!”

Pero ya nadie quiso oír.
El odio de los más poderosos,
la apatía de los religiosos del mero cumplir
y el temor cómplice de muchos
pudieron más…
Y guardando bajo el brazo las buenas nuevas,
sacudí mis sandalias
y tuve que marchar de aquel pueblo.

(G. Oberman)

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4 Responses to They didn’t believe me — Luke 4: 14-30, from Argentina

  1. rezrevres says:

    This genuinely powerful material that needs to be lived-out in every place of worship. I particularly resonate with the phrase: “the apathy of the religious who merely comply, and the complicit fear of many” as the primary reason true change is never embraced. I suspect if a contemporary Luke were recording the pronouncements of a 21st century Jesus, the passage would sound a great deal like “They Didn’t Believe Me”!

  2. mbmankin says:

    How powerful and soberingly true, yet today! Thank you for sharing.

  3. dee says:

    Maren– Would you please let Mr. Oberman know that we used his writing as a paired reading with our scripture for Luke. Folks really appreciated it. We used the English and Spanish together. Many thanks for this!

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